Ongoing harassment of lawyer Nguyen Van Dai
7 April 2015

Ongoing harassment of lawyer Nguyen Van Dai


Lawyers for Lawyers is very concerned about the ongoing harassment of human rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai. Dai was under house arrest in Hanoi since 2011, serving a four-year sentence that was due to end on 5 March 2015. He has been the victim of several acts of intimidation in the months leading up to the end of his house arrest.

On 30 January 2015, two unidentified men broke the front door of his apartment in Hanoi, and threatened to burn his home and assault him. He reported the incident to the police.

On the day his house arrest was supposed to end, the authorities informed him they wouldn’t officially end his probation unless he would officially promise, at the police station, that he would not continue his work as a human rights lawyer or any other work criticizing the government. When Dai refused to do so, “thugs” were sent to his home to harass him on March 5 and 6.

Shortly thereafter, the authorities have given Dai the written confirmation of the expiration of his house arrest. Lawyers for Lawyers has been informed, however, that the police is still surveilling him.

Nguyen Van Dai is, since his return to Vietnam after years in Eastern-Germany, a well-known human rights activist. He has been under control of government officials for many years now, and this house arrest followed on the four years imprisonment he was sentenced to in 2007 for propaganda against the state. Dai founded the Committee for Human Rights of Vietnam and his work as a human rights lawyer and blogger is disapproved by the Vietnam authorities.

The recent attacks on Dai come in a context of a series of physical assaults against human rights defenders, bloggers and human rights lawyers that have taken place in the previous months, which were perpetrated either by police officers or groups of people in the street. Reportedly, there has been a failure to investigate these attacks.

In a letter, Lawyers for Lawyers called on the Vietnamese authorities investigate the attacks on Nguyen Van Dai.

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